New signage, crosswalk warning stripes and no corner parking are among the changes put in place this week at the Lewis and Commercial Street intersection where a North End woman recently suffered seriously injuries after being run over by a turning car. The new markings were made by Boston Transportation Department who said they are planning a more permanent solution in the coming weeks.
An elderly man was killed in 1994 at the same intersection (see Globe article below). Similar to the recent incident, he was crossing on the way to the popular Golden Goose store on Commercial Street and hit by a turning car from Lewis Street. In the most recent accident, the North End female victim spent six days at Mass. General Hospital. She faces a long recovery after having her legs run over and suffering a concussion. Both incidents happened during the day.
Residents who lobbied for the changes said, “This gets us to first base in making a notorious intersection a bit safer, but much more needs to be done.” Residents are pushing for a speed bump, although city officials say that is difficult because of snow plows and emergency vehicles.
The “Elderly Crossing” sign refers to the adjacent senior housing at Ausonia Apartments while a new resident parking sign gives more viewing space on the north corner of Lewis Street. Prominent white stripes and curb paint have been added to make both crosswalks more visible.
At this weeks Mayor’s Coffee Hour, neighbors approached Mayor Walsh who delegated to Chris Osgood, Chief of Streets, Transportation & Sanitation. After an initial meeting, city officials put in place the signage and new street markings. Osgood said they inspected the intersection and saw car after car rolling through the stop signs, witnessing a near miss accident during the heavy traffic. He added that the new signage “is just the beginning as we work toward a permanent solution.”
The May 15 incident happened around 5:30 p.m. The police report says that an 18 year-old female driver from North End did not see the woman crossing due to a blind spot caused by roof pillar of her car. The intersection is occasionally monitored by police for cars that do not stop at the intersection and officers will continue to do traffic enforcement there, said BPD Captain Kenneth Fong. The driver apparently stopped at the intersection before turning in this case, said Fong. The driver was issued a citation at the scene.
The incident at Lewis and Commercial Streets follows other recent pedestrian accidents in the area. A Union Wharf resident was struck on Commercial Street a few weeks ago, suffering minor injuries. A Lewis Wharf woman was also hit by a car in front of Starbucks last winter.
The following Boston Globe article is from 1994 when a 72 year old man was struck and killed at the Lewis and Commercial Streets intersection.